May 15, 2012
Over the past two weeks, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) have taken nearly every occasion to trade lower, with the average posting eight losing sessions in the past nine trading days. New elections in Greece don't exactly inspire confidence among Europe-watchers, but a slight bounce often happens after a big downswing. At around 10:45 a.m. EDT, the Dow was up about 0.2%.
Banks were in the winning spotlight, with JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) both up around 2% on the day. But controversy surrounding the banks will continue for some time, as JPMorgan's multibillion-dollar trading fiasco sets the stage for a contentious annual shareholder meeting today. Meanwhile, B of A already ran the gauntlet of activist investors at its annual meeting last week, but it got good news late yesterday as a federal judge chose not to create a delay in its attempt to settle with shareholders over allegations about its Merrill Lynch buyout during the financial crisis.
On the energy front, both ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM ) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX ) traded higher despite another slight drop in the price of crude oil. Although $95 oil has some market analysts scratching their heads and trying to figure out how much lower commodities in general could fall, the biggest energy stocks are holding their own, thanks to healthy dividends and less sensitivity to price movements than their smaller counterparts.
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